Monday, October 13, 2008

A Magical Mystery Tour of the Interior Cosmos (10.05.11)

Remember, this is Bob's Unconscious speaking to us from beyond the subjective horizon. Also, remember that this is not meant to be -- nor could it ever be -- exhaustive, and cannot be a replacement for reading the book. I have no intention of "saturating" the experience of reading the book with my own ideas.

MY first impression upon rerereading MOTT is that the man could have used an editor. But who could have accomplished such a task? This presupposes an ability to master this infinite and eternal body of knowledge -- to wrap one's arms around it, so to speak, both in time and space -- and then to assimilate and organize it within oneself. In Bionion terms, it means that one would have to be capable of containing what UF contained; one would have to have an interior cosmos that exceeded his, and I doubt if too many people meet those qualifications.

Besides, once something is fully contained, it is functionally dead; it is no longer capable of evolution. Bion used the symbol ♀ for the container, and ♂ for the contained. The relationship between ♀ and ♂ is that between an explosive force and a limiting boundary. Words, for example, are ♀. Although words contain meaning, the meaning constantly escapes the words, which is the only reason why words are capable of saying what cannot be said and evolving meaning. One must be very aware of this function of words when discussing mystical theology; one must never forget the uncontainable ♂ within the ♀.

Bob attempted to discuss this issue in OCUG, which is why he used symbols instead of words for certain key ideas. For example, the word God is a container, an ♀. But how can any word possibly contain the ultimate ♂? It's okay to use the word, so long as you never forget that, especially in the case of God, ♂ vastly exceeds any ♀ you could come up with.

Now, the first arcana is that of the Magician. Before getting into its specific meaning, bear in mind that, even more than a word, this is a symbol, or ♀, which is full of explosive ♂. UF even explains this at the outset, noting that these archetypal symbols of the Tarot have "the virtue of awakening the deeper layers of the soul," i.e., ♂. In other words, you cannot think without symbols. But you must not confuse the symbols with the thoughts they provoke, or reduce thought to symbol.

Here again, Bob touched on this in OCUG, noting that one must develop a new relationship to language, so that you actually speak it, rather than vice versa. When we hear about "speaking in tongues" and the like, I believe this is likely a popular misrepresentation of a deeper principle. This is why we call it "speaking in Tongan," in order to avoid the confusion. You can be sure that the scientific materialist only believes what he does because he is spoken by a particular kind of dry and desiccated language, and has become contained -- and therefore imprisoned -- by it. This is why no real poet could ever be a materialist. The poet knows as well as anyone that ♂ always breaks free of ♀, and that this is a divine mercy.

UF goes on to say that these archetypal symbols have the capacity to awaken "new notions, ideas, sentiments, and aspirations, which means that they require an activity more profound than that of study and intellectual explanation." Rather, one must dive deeply into them, which is to simultaneously dive deeply into the mystery of oneself. For "it is the deep and intimate layers of the soul which become active and bear fruit" in these contemplative exercises. And that is the whole point: to become deep, since God is the ultimate depth.

Here again, UF highlights the ♂ ♀ dialectic of the symbols -- and this goes for any archetypal symbols, including the totality of the Bible -- in that they "conceal and reveal their sense at one and the same time according to the depth of meditation." In Petey's term, they reveil, the veil (♀) being necessary to clothe the (♂) so that it may be thought about in a deepening spiral.

Again, this is a true complementarity, which is why one cannot simply strip away the veil to disclose the underlying reality. This is the approach of those barbarous atheists who imagine they can seize reality with their greedy and grasping meat hooks; but we see how far they get with that, which is to say, nowhere. They merely grasp their nether parts with this nOnanistic activity, which is why they are spiritually barren. They are filled with millions of Unborns who will never see the light of deity because they were never conceived in d'light immaculate.

Now, the magician is the master archetype for our journey into the rest of the symbols. Why is that? Because he is the symbol of what we must become if we are to have a fruitful journey through the rest of them. We must become this magician. And what does this magician represent?

Well, among other things, he embodies the principle of Slack, in that we must leave the field of profane time behind, and enter a different reality that has its own rhythm and sensibility. Here is how UF formulates it:

Learn at first concentration without effort; transform work into play; make every yoke that that you have accepted easy and every burden that you carry light!

The first of these prescriptions has to do with what Petey calls the principle of Higher Non-doodling, which in turn is similar to the wu wei of Taoism. It also coonverges on what Sri Aurobindo calls the attainment of the "silent mind," which is well explained in chapter 4 of The Adventure of Consciousness.

In fact, we see a perfect convergence of these approaches, as Satprem writes that "the major task that opens the door to many realizations is to silence the mind.... Clearly, if we want to discover a new country within us, we must leave the old one behind -- everything depends on our determination to take this first step." (In OCUG, Bob uses the symbol (---) for this step.)

Part of this is in order to escape the (♀) in order to get at the (♂), so to unspeak. In other words, our surface ego, or local self (•) is so hemmed in and contained, that we need to get beyond or behind it, and the best way is to get it to shut the hell up. This is because, as Sri Aurobindo writes, "In a certain sense, we are nothing but a complex mass of mental, nervous and physical habits held together (♀) by a few ruling ideas, desires and associations -- an amalgam of many small, self-repeating forces with a few major vibrations." This outward and external (♀) becomes thicker and more dense, until we are "confined in a construction." No more (♂). Your fortress against reality is complete.

This is why you might say that the first half of life involves learning, while the second half involves unlearning. Or, "be as little children," who are so full of (♂). This requires a leap into faith (o), which Aurobindo describes as "an intuition not only waiting for experience to justify it, but leading toward experience."

Here again, UF agrees that we must achieve calm and silence "at the expense of the automatism of thought and imagination" (the bad kind -- more on which later). Only in so doing will we be capable of truly "speaking" of these matters, instead of merely being on auto-pilot. A Raccoon must never speak of spiritual matters in in this mechanical way. I suppose that doing so has its place, but it is ultimately "by the dead and for the tenured," not for us.

One reason why silence is so critical is that it is only in silence that we become "one." And as UF writes, we must first become one in ourselves if we are to become one with the spiritual world. It's just common sense. Without unity, there can be no knowledge of any kind. For example, the only reason why we may possess scientific knowledge is because a primordial unity subtends the division of subject and object.

However, that is the world of horizontal quantities, whereas the spiritual world is one of vertical qualities. Thus, the next step, according to UF, is to understand the Law of Analogy that governs the qualitative world of the vertical. This, of course, is why Jesus spoke in parables that are full of richly resonant symbolism with which we must "play" as little children.

Well, we're out of time.


Blogger walt said...

Amongst the sheer tonnage of useful things in MOTT, a couple of sentences from The Magician have had a big influence on me:

Concentration is only possible in a condition of calm and silence, at the expense of the automatism of thought and imagination.

It is the silenced will which effects the silence of thought and imagination in concentration.

These sentences seem to me to explain the proper "order" of things: that any real concentration comes as a result of a calm and quiet person, and that it is this state of quiet wakefulness that resolves our problems with the automatic dreaming that passes for real thought.

Then he equates this with a "silenced will" -- the cessation of the St. Vitus Dance of the personal ego. All this, before we can "concentrate."

Great to re-view all this!

10/13/2008 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Here we are: The feminine as all-containing container for the content of the uncontainable masculine: Theotokos of the Sign .

Sign, huh? The symbol. And below, seven candlesticks, as in Revelation.

10/13/2008 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

The situation is reversed here: The Dormition... The small figure Christ holds is Mary, which is a reverse type of the typical Theotokos Icon.I think that one is 'The Rose 'ere Blooming' but I dunno.

10/13/2008 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Sign Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign

And the sign said everybody welcome, come in, kneel down and pray
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all,
I didn't have a penny to pay, so I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
I said thank you Lord for thinking about me, I'm alive and doing fine


Symb(o)llically speaking, of course.

10/13/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seem to prefer letting my ego run riot daily. My first thoughts upon arising are "what about me?"

It's all about what I have to do to further the agenda of survival; take the dry cleaning in, get a haircut, pay the bills.

And then its on to: get some exercise to keep me healthy, get some food to keep me full, take a nap to keep me rested, buy this, sell that...

If I quiet my mind, what's to prevent me from losing my place in the world? Who is going to take care of all the @#$% I have to do to just maintain body and property in decent order?

I don't understand how it is to be done.

10/13/2008 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Inner Yoda said...

Young Sky Lightworker
UF + MOTT = Kinship of being
BU + OCUG = Infinity
Amen for a Bob’s job!

(RR :-)

10/13/2008 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Get up twenty minutes earlier tomorrow.

10/13/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous son of a preacher man said...

All right I am thoroughly confused. I have always assumed that the masculine was the container and the feminine was the contained. Obviously I am missing something here or over simplifying the principles involved. A little clarification, please.

10/13/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Here again, UF agrees that we must achieve calm and silence "at the expense of the automatism of thought and imagination" (the bad kind -- more on which later). Only in so doing will we be capable of truly "speaking" of these matters, instead of merely being on auto-pilot. A Raccoon must never speak of spiritual matters in in this mechanical way. I suppose that doing so has its place, but it is ultimately "by the dead and for the tenured," not for us."

When you pass through enough instances, you are finally able to recognize, infer and grasp the principles behind the chatter.

Then as you begin to take less notice of the particulars, and steer instead by the common and unchanging principles; your spin cycle becomes more balanced, centered and smooth, the excess being thrown off or absorbed.

The move towards principles, results in smoother, more centered and fluid thoughts and deeds.

One of the dead giveaways of vital & (•), is a frantic concern with every random specific factoid and energetically going about chasing after them, or trying to 'fix' them... lots and lots of things, whirling about like a threshing machine, reams and reams of words and policies and plans and actions.

The master speaks 'simply', but each time you attend to his words, you find more depth and more applicability in those few words, than the reams of particulars the threshers throw out there.

Less can be more, and more can be so much less.

10/13/2008 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Grasshopper - wax on, wax off.

10/13/2008 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Vanderleun links today to some excellent visual examples of [the female symbol (how the heck do you get them to show?? I can find the codes, but I can't make them work.)]. The pictures act as a container for information about the sun; obviously, however, they are not it, and really don't represent it at all.

10/13/2008 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Preacher man:

It helps to thnk of the male/female thing in terms of anatomy. The female vagina contains the male penis during coitus, and this basic principle pervades the symbolism in that the female contains, the male is contained. Simplicity itself.

10/13/2008 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Nice. Or consider that ships are always shes and almost always contain a bunch of rowdy guys.


10/13/2008 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Due my aptitude for slack rather than Slack, I take UF's warning at the end of Letter I to heart:

"May the Magician say to us, and may he repeat it each day:

To perceive and to know, to try and to be able to, are all different things. There are mirages above, as there are mirages below; you only know that which is verified by the agreement of all forms of experience in its totality - experience of the senses, moral experience, psychic experience, the collective experience of other seekers for the truth, and finally the experience of those whose knowing merits the title of wisdom and whose striving has been crowned by the title of saint. Academia and the Church stipulate methodical and moral conditions for one who desires to progress. Carry them out strictly, before and after each flight into the region beyond the domain of work and effort. If you do this, you will be a sage and a mage. If you do not do this - you will be only a charlatan!"

language is the key
to unlocking some treasure
and hiding the rest

10/13/2008 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

If you are quiet enough, the invisible force of goodness that surrounds us all will remind you of what to do at any given time.

Don't try cooking as your first exercise in this, though.

10/13/2008 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

magnus: Our God is a consuming fire!

10/13/2008 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Also, there's plugs. The male end and the female end. You need both to make the connection.

10/13/2008 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous son of a preacher man said...

River & anon

I see your point. I will dwell on this a bit and see if I can articulate from where I am at. I certainly see how the feminine must contain the masculine at a certain point. But ultimately would not reverse become true?

10/13/2008 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

The television premier of "Into Great Silence" will be on EWTN on,I think, Oct. 26th.

And "Shut the Hell Up", Bob's words, while a good suggestion, also sounds like a street translation of "Be still, and know that I am God."

10/13/2008 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

I think of the feminine genius as receptive, which is anything but passive. Fiat. It goads the masculine into giving forth, which is its specific character. Don't just think of sex you dirty minded raccoons, but also Mary at Cana where she goaded Christ into his first miracle, or at the foot of the Cross; or the mind before reality interacting and conceiving; or the readers of this blog textually fornicating with the profligate Christ Bob, who wasn't hit by no train; or the way some art can be strongly vaginal.

Obama makes a nice receptacle for all those fancy ideas, by the way. I'd like to commend him as being strongly vaginal.

10/13/2008 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Into Great Silence is humbling. The joy, and the eyes throughout the film - awesome.

10/13/2008 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Son of a Preacher Man: See my second comment. Christianity starts with the 'sign': The Virgin shall bear a child (masculine contained within feminine.) The Orthodox Church year ends with the Feminine being drawn up into the endless masculine (the Dormition of the Theotokos.) Look at the icon for just a moment.

10/13/2008 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

speaking of which, River, interesting that heaven is thought by many to be a big container, when the opposite is true - the person is the container, where in hell you're an empty container yearning to contain.

10/13/2008 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Right, Phil. John Damascene writes that while we say God is 'in heaven' we do not mean that God is contained by heaven, but rather, that being limited we must conceive of him as being 'somewhere' - it is more accurate to say heaven is where God is. Hell is where he is not. Since you can't get away from him, the only place hell can really be is inside a person.

10/13/2008 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

son of a preacher man:

Google Blogsearch comes up with 38 Bobblog hits where Dear Leader has unspoken about The Feminine. Perhaps you'll find what you're looking for in some of them.

10/13/2008 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I'd like to commend him as being strongly vaginal.

Heh. I noted this a couple of months ago, that Obama was the first black woman to be nominated.

I guess he's wanting to contain all the hopes and dreams of conflicting interests. Neat trick, if he can stand the heat.

10/13/2008 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous anonymouse said...

Two quasi-relevant questions:

1. How does Christopher Langan’s CTMU fit in with bobservational theories?

2. First Huckabee claims something screwy is going on with so many stock sell orders right before closing last week. But the hinted "economic terrorism" was refuted by some conservative investors - large institutional orders are always placed late in sessions. But now the market is up 11%, leaving many cashed out 401K’ers feeling a bit miffed. First real estate, then oil had their bizarre ‘speculative’ peaks. Evidence of a linked corporate/government power center at work?

10/13/2008 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Evidence of SNAFU

End of story

10/13/2008 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

One thing that occurred to me is that if the male is uncontainable and the female is contained, wouldn't that go along with son of a preacher man's original perception?

Or just do the blog search which I haven't so I don't know if I am on or off with the above.

10/13/2008 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The male-female dialectic changes based on the level of analysis. For example, the soul is feminine in relation to God, but masculine in relation to the world. And the contained always goes together with a container; the whole point is that the two go together, as in the eternal play of purusha and prakriti, form and substance, wave and particle, etc.

Also, one could say that the Godhead is the feminine container of God.

10/13/2008 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous son of a preacher man said...

I have been looking at this too simplistically. Basically I have been confusing the act of containing (or should I say filtering) with being a container unto itself.

Thank you to all for your insights. Obviously I need to go reread some stuff & pick up a copy of MOTT.

10/13/2008 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

"Who is going to take care of all the @#$% I have to do to just maintain body and property in decent order? I don't understand how it is to be done."

I suspect Anonymous 10am is being a bit wry, but to take his question literally, see Matthew 6.

First thing in the morning might be "Thank You. What about You? What's next?"

Coincidentally, just as a friend and I lightheartedly agreed that "It's so nice not to be on board, if a depression were coming it would have to happen without us," the ever-specious Yahoo headline shifted to "huge turnaround on Wall Street." I suspect we will still have to do the dishes, but not fret and worry at the same time. One can notice dire imaginations and automatic thoughts, and call them, kindly, by their name. False distractions from reality.

And it helps to live in a moderate degree of mental shelter, not "relaxing" with television or other prefab alarums and astonishments.

Hope this helps, if the question was meant to be answered.

10/13/2008 03:09:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

If I were Magic
And Magic was as I dream
Then so much would change.

Coyote is the teacher,
Shows the corkscrew way of things.

To thread the needle
Takes courage, wit, hollow bones,
Or else you fall, break.

10/13/2008 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Bob, have you read much of Divine Light so far, and if so, what do you think of it?

10/13/2008 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Well, technically the downloading hasn't begun. But it looks well written, and Denys is one of my favorites. What could go wrong?

10/13/2008 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That's always a dangerous question.

I wonder how many hermetic texts one can juggle at the same time before the brain melts down? I'd better stick with two for now; I don't think I'm quite ready for the full 3d experience.

10/13/2008 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Raccoons, pray for me. My heart has been stolen for real; pray that I don't ever get it back :)

10/13/2008 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Will do, River.


Of course you know, we'll expect a few details. How'd you meet?

10/13/2008 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ah, three years ago. It's such a winding path, and I don't have much time to explain. There's something I have to do to-morrow that I really need some folk praying for me. Eventually the tale will be forthcoming, if the chapter is written as it seems to be unfolding.

10/13/2008 08:59:00 PM  
Anonymous austracoon said...

"Again, this is a true complementarity, which is why one cannot simply strip away the veil to disclose the underlying reality. This is the approach of those barbarous atheists who imagine they can seize reality with their greedy and grasping meat hooks;..."

Deu 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

10/14/2008 01:59:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

alternate ways to start day:
Thank you Lord for these gifts of life & health; please fill my heart with love, that all my thoughts words & deeds this day be in harmony with You and Your will! Amen

or if that sounds too dry, perhaps the enlightened rascal's daystarter:
3 hearty "F You's!!" and belly laughter

10/14/2008 04:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Count on it, Riv.

(..the coffee shop?)

10/14/2008 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Er, twas, I think, at the dining hall at college. Or was it? RR, I don't rightly remember. If I ever write an autobio it will be titled: "Don't Be Disappointed: I can't remember any of the things I'm supposed to about my life."

10/14/2008 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

A wOmb with a view.

"Bob attempted to discuss this issue in OCUG, which is why he used symbols instead of words for certain key ideas. For example, the word God is a container, an ♀. But how can any word possibly contain the ultimate ♂? It's okay to use the word, so long as you never forget that, especially in the case of God, ♂ vastly exceeds any ♀ you could come up with."

And God is neither male nor female, yet He is both, united, and an O lot mOre.

10/14/2008 07:58:00 PM  

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